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The Nuclear Industry in England’s Northwest
England’s Northwest - Nuclear Expertise England’s Northwest is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of nuclear facilities with a renowned skills base and world class expertise in nuclear technology research & development. The region contains half of the UK’s 45,000 highly skilled nuclear workers, several major nuclear sites supported by well established supply chains and the UK’s main centres for nuclear research. Government energy policy identifies that nuclear power will play a key role in the future energy mix. With all elements of the nuclear fuel cycle in the region, Northwest companies will be playing a pivotal role in the design, construction and operation of new nuclear power plants, and in providing the fuel cycle operations and technology required to sustain the nuclear programme for many decades to come. This is also an exciting time for overseas investors wishing to capitalise on nuclear new build opportunities. With experience of working with clients in a wide variety of industries and countries, the Northwest Regional Development Agency is ideally placed to facilitate and catalyse new business in the region. The region has a proud history of nuclear science and engineering. Over 200 years ago John Dalton presented his atomic theory to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and in 1907 Ernest Rutherford was appointed professor of physics at Manchester University and carried out pioneering research into the nature of alpha particles. The Northwest of England has been at the heart of the UK’s nuclear programme for over 60 years and is home to the world’s first commercial scale nuclear power plant at Calder Hall in Cumbria. The UK is one of only a few countries to close the nuclear fuel cycle and the Northwest contains the UK’s whole fuel cycle capability; uranium conversion, uranium enrichment, fuel manufacture, two operational nuclear power stations, spent fuel reprocessing, and waste management and decommissioning. With world class facilities and capabilities, the Northwest’s nuclear sector is playing the key role in the £70 billion decommissioning programme of the UK’s civil nuclear sites and the Sellafield site, in Cumbria, represents one of the world’s most challenging decommissioning programmes. Many of the organisations that have developed expertise in the UK’s decommissioning programme will also be applying their knowledge to decommissioning and new build programmes on an international level. In addition to its outstanding industrial, academic and research capability the Liverpool based Nuclear Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive is the UK regulator responsible for authorising the design and operation of new nuclear reactors and licensing the UK’s nuclear facilities.